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South By Southwest 2014 Interview – FORT TILDEN directors Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles Rogers

by Jason Whyte

“Okay so, like, it’s a comedy about two twenty-something Brooklynites who hold themselves in high regard but have a really bad day when they try to get to the beach. It’s kind of an obstacle course, you know? But like really intelligent.  Super fun, I think you’d really love it. You’re handsome.” Directors Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers on FORT TILDEN which screens at this year's South By Southwest Film Festival.

Is this your first SxSW/Austin experience and are you going to attend your screenings?

This is our first time having a film at SxSW. I (Charles) went to college in Austin so I know the lay of the land. Meanwhile Sarah-Violet has never been to Texas till today and it’s bigger than she thought. We’ll definitely be at our screenings to answer all your burning questions. We think our movie fits the vibe of this city and hoping the people respond to its young, fun, hip flare.

Your favorite barbecue/food in the city?

CR: I am a vegetarian. So is Sarah-Violet and she’s never been here anyway.

Tell me a bit about your background and how you became a filmmaker. Also what have you worked on in the past?

We both knew at young age that we had a weird attraction to films and followed our feet.  We met at NYU Grad Film and have made shorts, web series, etc. But this is our first feature film.

How did this whole project come together from your perspective?

We thought of the idea at the end of May 2013, got excited, and forced ourselves to film it by the end the summer.

What was the biggest challenge, or challenges, in making the film?

CR: Time and money. We made Fort Tilden as cheaply and quickly as we could. That was stressful.[br]

If you had to pick a single favourite moment out of the entire production, what would it be?

SB: We all had Ramen and Sake after a long day of filming in the freezing ocean. That was bliss.

What keeps you going while making a movie? What drives you? How much coffee?

CR: Coffee’s nice, but once you’ve committed you really have no other choice than to keep rolling, despite the pain.

I would love to know about the technical side of the film, your relationship to the director of photography, what the movie was shot on and why it was decided to be filmed this way.

CR: Our Director of Photography Brian Lannin helped develop the story so we started having that conversation from day one. We shot on the Red Epic because we had connections to an affordable camera package and we liked the look.

What are you looking forward to the most about showing your movie at SxSW?

SB: The standing O.

After the film screens at South By Southwest, where is the film going to show next? Anywhere you would like it to screen?

SB: We know, but it’s a secret and we’ll tell you when we can, smiley face.

If you could show this movie in any cinema in the world, which one would you choose and why?

CR: The theater where Abraham Lincoln was shot. Their website says they now have a screening room.
There are a lot of up and coming filmmakers both at SxSW and reading our site. What would you want to tell them if they are aspiring to become a filmmaker?

CR: Follow your fear and give yourself pee breaks.

And finally, what is the single, greatest movie that you have seen at a film festival?

SB: We both saw Letters from Persia at the Hot Media Fest in October and flipped.

This is one of the many films screening at the 2014 SXSW in Austin, Texas between March 7-15. For more information on the film’s screening, point your browser to

Jason Whyte,
Twitter: @jasonwhyte / Facebook: jasonwhyte / Instagram: jasonrcwhyte

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originally posted: 03/08/14 04:10:13
last updated: 03/08/14 04:13:56
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